Dan is the anti-hero/villain protagonist of the series. He is a short-tempered man with a mission to exact revenge on anyone and anything he deems has wronged him. While expressing a very shallow and abrasive demeanor, in reality, he is simply overly-sensitive to everyday pet peeves. Whether due to a psychological defect or simply personal preference, he has been noted as decidedly unable to overcome normal stress. In stark contrast to how the normal person might deal with things, he instead takes matters to extremes and sets out to forcibly undergo whatever methods necessary to achieve gratification through revenge. Taking everything personally, he believes the entire world is out to get him. Dan will stop at nothing to make sure he settles the score even if his win is pointless, even if it costs him more than he gets out of it. Dan can be selfish, as he doesn't really care what happens to others. Such as in Dan vs. Dan when he allowed the fake Dan to be arrested in his place.
Despite his bad tendencies, Dan has few nice qualities also; he loves his kitten Mr. Mumbles and because of their friendship he will help Chris or go back to help him if he has to (although he doesn't seem to mind being just as mean to him as he is everyone else, if not meaner on occasion). Even though he treats Chris poorly, he does care about him and has helped him out a few times, if grudgingly.
Dan has black hair, green eyes, a soul-patch, slight stubble, and round but sharp teeth. His everyday outfit consists of blue jeans, black shoes, and a black T-shirt that says 'JERK' in white letters.
Friends and Family
Not much is known about Dan's relatives, other than the fact that he had a grandmother who has been mentioned several times by Dan. He spoke on the phone with her in Dan vs. the Dentist, but she has apparently died since then, as he claims to have stolen her deviled eggs recipe on her death bed. In the beginning of Dan vs. Baseball, he was driving home from a funeral, probably his grandmother's. Dan also has a dead uncle, as mentioned in Dan Vs. Golf. Dan dug up his grave to steal his suit, apparently. Dan has also mentioned his mother on some occasions, such as when he said that she had given him brass knuckles as a gift. Though his opinion on his mother isn't a very positive one, as seeing the word "Mom" on the screen in Dan Vs. Anger Management provoked a rather hostile reaction from him. He also hinted that he was distant from his mother in Dan Vs, Summer Camp when he said that a fire is like a warm hug or at least what he thinks it feels like. Dan's parents are divorced. Dan's parents also seem to have been negligent towards Dan and his needs as a child, as he's stated several times that his parents sat him in front of a TV his whole life and despite Dan's pleading that they could talk out whatever he did wrong in Dan Vs. Summer Camp they kicked him out of the car and left him at a camp he did not want to be at.
Chris seems to be Dan's only real friend. However, both Dan and Chris have made reference to an as of yet unseen person named "Ted," who apparently used to be friends with Dan. Throughout the series, Dan seems to make allies and enemies during his revenge plans.
Not much is known about Dan's early life, but his childhood other than the episode of when he met Chris, is so horrific that even therapists run off screaming when hearing about it. In Dan Vs. Baseball, he reveals that he didn't learn to tie his shoe until he was twelve. His parents seemed to have been rather neglectful of his welfare; once a dentist even tricked them into giving Dan a root canal before he even had his permanent teeth. As a result of their negligence, Dan claims to have been raised by TV (although he doesn't seem to feel bad about it, even claiming he turned out "super-duper" as a result). Dan has also mentioned that his parents got divorced when he was very young and he hasn't seen his father since.
In "Summer Camp" his parents dropped him off at Camp Atrocious, which, according to Chris, "was even worse than its name." However, Dan looked back on it fondly because of his revenge on the ruthless counselor and bullies, and also because it's where he first met and befriended Chris.
In the "High Scool Reunion" it's revealed that Dan was incredibly popular in high school, since everybody loved his crazy revenge antics, but he was never aware of it.
Occasionally, something will rile Dan up while he's in the middle of exacting revenge on another party. This results in Dan whipping out a steno pad and writing down the offending object on his list of things to get revenge on later. (The list includes: Babies who cry at the park, babies in general, generals, dull pencils, pencils that are too sharp, Banana Slugs, Costa Rica, Neurotoxins, Alpaca Wool, Being forced to express his feelings, and Arizona shown in the episode New Mexico.)
In Animal Shelter Dan adds Burger Phile after accidentally drinking Chris' milkshake there. Later in the season, a whole episode revolves around Dan's vendetta against the fast food restaurant.
In Dan vs. The Telemarketer, Dan adds Elise to the list when she makes him angry and almost punches him. However, Dan erases her after he sees her ruthlessly beat up Chris' old boss, Mr. Zimmerman.
Biff Wellington is Dan's alter ego towards the end of the episode "Dan". Somewhat the Anti-Dan, Biff is shown to be a gentle and kind spirit. However, Dan gets rid of the Biff persona when the fake Dan gets hauled off to jail for missing a court appearance, which was Dan's plan the whole time.